Aaron Rodgers and the New York Jets begin the 2023 NFL season with one thing in mind: making it to Super Bowl LVIII.
But is that really a possibility for Gang Green?
Chris Broussard asserted that reaching the AFC Championship Game is the Jets’ ceiling for this season, with FOX Sports NFL analyst Greg Jennings elaborating on the matter on a recent edition of “First Things First.”
“They’re not winning the AFC,” Jennings said bluntly. “I just don’t see it happening. When you look at all the teams that have improved, yes the Jets have improved, but they’ve got a lot that they’re going to work through.
“Maybe they hit their stride. Maybe it clicks, and it happens for them. But if I’m putting my money on the line, AFC title game, you can get there, [but] will you win it?”
On the other hand, Nick Wright argued that the Jets’ ceiling is much lower than reaching the AFC title game.
“The ceiling is sneak into the playoffs and win one game,” Wright said. “I think that is very optimistic, but I’m not going to act like they can’t win a wild-card round game. I think Kansas City, Cincinnati, Jacksonville, Baltimore, Miami, Buffalo and the Chargers are all better than them; that’s seven in their own conference.”
“I also think we all agree it is incredibly unlikely this team has a gaudy regular-season record, like the No. 1 or 2 seed, which means you’re going to be on the road in the playoffs,” Wright added. “He [Rodgers] has been a bad road quarterback, flatly [since winning the Super Bowl in 2011]. … Rodgers has had one great road playoff game since that Super Bowl run, the game in 2016 against Dak Prescott [and the Dallas Cowboys] in his rookie year. He threw that amazing pass down the sideline at the end.
“That’s it, so going on the road just to get an opportunity to go to Arrowhead — it’s not happening.”
The Jets revamped their offense this offseason after a 7-10 campaign last year that saw their defense finish fourth in the NFL in total yards (311.1) and points (18.6) allowed per game.
In addition to acquiring Rodgers — who’s expected to play multiple series in the Jets’ preseason finale against the New York Giants on Saturday — from the Green Bay Packers, the Jets recently signed four-time Pro Bowl running back Dalvin Cook, brought in a pair of Rodgers’ former Packers wideouts in Allen Lazard and Randall Cobb and added former Chiefs receiver Mecole Hardman.
As for the Jets’ division, the AFC East is among the NFL’s tightest four-team clusters. Josh Allen and the Bills have been a perennial AFC contender of late, winning the AFC East in each of the last four seasons. The Dolphins have an immensely talented roster and were 8-3 at one point last season with a healthy Tua Tagovailoa. While they’ve underwhelmed of late, the New England Patriots finished ahead of the Jets last season and have beaten them in 14 consecutive games.
Rodgers and the Jets begin the 2023 regular season at home against the Bills on Sept. 11.
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